The End of an Era: Celebrating 10 Years of ELECTROWEEN Mixes

In Art, Music
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Short on time? Head on over to our ELECTROWEEN Mixes page where we have created an archive for all of our ELECTROWEEN productions. There you will find our latest 2019 mixes to stream and download. If you like what we’ve been creating, please subscribe to GAIA BROS to receive news and announcements about forthcoming projects and articles.

You read that right, ladies and gents. 2019 marks the decisive end to a decade of Halloween-inspired, pop culture infused music productions, which have been in production since the series’ humble beginnings back in Fall 2009. Right off the bat, you may have a question or two popping up. Why is ELECTROWEEN ending on its decade milestone 2019 mix? Will there be more EDM mixes coming in the future?

Grab a beer and find a cozy seat, then come back and join us for the details. Story time, kids!

Setting The Stage: First Mention of the Series’ End

Before jumping into ELECTROWEEN 2019 details, I need to spend a little time establishing some relevant details from a year ago.

Last Fall, shortly after we had released ELECTROWEEN 2018, I flew down to San Diego to visit Matt and his girlfriend Jessica for the weekend of Halloween. We saw the Halloween movie reboot, carved up some pumpkins, dropped by Tatsu Ramen in L.A. for some delicious bowls of noodles, and drove up to Universal Studios Hollywood for their Halloween Horror Nights (in particular, to check out the Stranger Things attraction). We had a wonderful time together.

Pumpkin carvings by Scott, Matt and Jessica

It was during this visit when I announced to Matt that 2019 would mark the final year for the ELECTROWEEN series, ending a solid run of releases spanning our 20s to our early 30s. It has become a cherished tradition… something we’ve always looked forward to with the start of each new calendar year. ELECTROWEEN is Halloween for us, and a token of our years of friendship and love for the arts, electronic dance music, cult video games and films. In short, it is the summation of everything we love, and have come to love. This was bittersweet to talk about, but in the end it’s for the right reasons.

The rationale behind this decision is, for the most part, straight-forward. Since jump starting my DJ hobby back in 2006, I have released over 30 studio production mixes, manned two radio shows ([OuteR HeaveN] and PLURALITY at WSNC Radio), and performed countless live DJ sets at house parties, bars and private events.

In many ways, I’ve exhausted myself from the art form and feel a burning need to start creating my own music, rather than curating the works of others as I’ve done for the majority of my adult years. But also, life has happened, too.

Other Happenings That Have Influenced This Decision

During the same weekend I visited Matt last October, I simultaneously released my second album, Gravitational Waves, for my chillsynth project Gravity Mission. The album took three years to envision, create and release (collaborating remotely for the entire process) after a six year dry spell from our initial 2012 debut Before The Spoken Word. I came to realize the creative process was deeply rewarding and allowed me to evolve artistically in ways I had not previously imagined. In a real sense, it showed me that the barriers to creating music only exist in my head, and that changing course at any time is entirely possible.

Gravity Mission Gravitational Waves Album Cover

Gravity Mission’s Gravitational Waves album (released October 26, 2018)

Lastly, life changes have been a considerable factor, often left out of the picture here on GAIA BROS. Having moved eight times since the release of my initial 2009 mix, I’ve been feeling the need to get more serious about putting down roots, connecting to a single place and getting acquainted with my local community. After my wife and I bought our first home in 2017, I started switching gears and pursuing other interests, including gardening, foraging, craft beer, table top gaming, GM’ing and traveling. It’s been a wonderful past few years, but a lot to handle. Thus I’ve had to make some tough decisions and learn to be more realistic with my time commitments.

“Tell Us About ELECTROWEEN 2019 Already, Please!”

Whew! Thanks for hanging in here for the entire reason why you’re reading this post! Let’s jump right into ELECTROWEEN 2019 — its inception, influences and more.

As the crown jewel in this decade long saga, ELECTROWEEN 2019 needed to be fantastically epic in a way that other mixes couldn’t be. It needed flair, funk and spirit on all levels. But most importantly, it absolutely HAD to be a fun reminder of why we started doing this whole thing in the first place. Returning full circle to our beginnings was key.

ELECTROWEEN 2009 Cover Art

Where it all began: ELECTROWEEN 2009 (released October 16, 2009)

I began by looking back on our early mixes and questioning why we fell in love with the concept of merging EDM tracks and jack-o’-lantern heads together. We were creating something different, something bold — a novel form of expression that did not yet exist in the world. Several tracks started to stand out, and they were always the ones that jacked our bodies in ways unlike anything else. That’s when the realization struck: our final mixes for the ELECTROWEEN series needed to be celebratory and sentimental, using tracks with massive swing and vibe that pulse with uplifting energy and emotion.

This led to months of heavy Spotify rotations and research, ultimately pointing to the spiritual successor of the 70s: Nu Disco! A long time fan of Daft Punk, their French house discography was a great starting place for finding similar artists and classics. What originally felt like a monumental undertaking quickly became a super synthesized formula for hot disco beats and flashing synths, and the energy continued to pick up from there!

September Reunion in Portland, Oregon

A few weeks back, Matt flew up to Portland to celebrate the end of the ELECTROWEEN series. We GAIA BROS reunited over glorious moments of food, drink and beats at home, while foraging in the woods for Chanterelles, and driving out to the coast. Matt and I carved up our pumpkin helmets for the last time and fully embraced the defining characteristic of our early mixes.

For the first time in seven years, we embarked on a photoshoot with gold and silver capes in search of Portland’s most aesthetically gratifying street art. Some gloomy weather rolled in, but we ended up working with the rainfall to leverage its luminous quality for the end product. Below is a gallery of the final images processed from the shoot, which we have included within the download files for the 2019 mixes. Continue on after the gallery for liner notes and the final cover art designs created especially for the occasion!

VII’s Decade Celebration Mix Liner Notes

ELECTROWEEN 2019 - VII's Decade Celebration Mix Cover Art

From Scott: My tenth and final mix for the ELECTROWEEN series touches on the things most sentimental to me. It is everything I have to give, and everything I could ever say, in a timeframe just short of an hour and a half. This is the longest production I’ve created to date, and looking back on it, I never wanted a single moment of it to end. The mix embodies the essence of the long and wholesome nights spent with close friends and loved ones… those irreplaceable times that will forever shine in our minds and hearts.

My 2019 mix is divided up into three seamlessly transitioning acts: a soaring and lofty Halloween introduction at-length (VG OST and Synthwave), an all night long celebration (Nu Disco), and finally a sincere and heartfelt closure, painting a pensive mood with vulnerable feelings of love, melancholy and, ultimately, acceptance.

Samples from Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night are most prevalently stitched in between tracks. I completely fell in love with this game upon its release this past summer. Matt and I have patiently waited four years for this game, as we were original backers from the April 2015 Kickstarter campaign. It’s clear that Koji Igarashi and Michiru Yamane have put their souls into this beautiful masterwork. I also drew samples from other favorites including Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Game of Thrones, and 300, which all have their own places within the narrative of this work.

Having ventured into the darkness (perhaps a little too long) in years past, I’ve found my way back to the grooves that bring the “feel good” vibes in spades. I should note here that initially I had started working on this mix back in March 2019 in order to get a head start on the final mix concept. With that said, I am extremely satisfied with the end product. The coin design illustration I created for the cover art came together effortlessly based on the passion encompassing this special time. The whole process has been cathartic on a deep level. I’m grateful for these ten years of ELECTROWEEN and will always take them with me into whatever comes next. Special thanks goes to Matt for believing in this project and being a great collaborator, my wife Lindsey for her support and encouragement, and David for listening and being a loyal fan all these years.

Loveless’ Decade Celebration Mix Liner Notes

ELECTROWEEN 2019 - VII's Decade Celebration Mix Cover Art

From Matt: OHHHHH MAN! Has it been a decade already? Where did all the time fly? I was just a wee lad yesterday bumping to Scott’s mixes and now I’m a seasoned vet of the Halloween variety. Tonight I am going to see Lana Del Rey with my girlfriend which will be a great cap on the end of ELECTROWEEN. Lana’s moody and melodic music is of a bygone era. She really evokes the spirit of ELECTROWEEN (side note: thank you to Jessica, my aforementioned girlfriend, for introducing Lana to me). This year I open with an instrumental and a remix of her first big hit, Video Games. A song that reminds me of a few weekends ago when I visited Scott.

We went mushroom foraging and shot the ELECTROWEEN liner photos. We haven’t shot photos like that since 2012 and it was amazing. The rain followed us every spot we went that day, brightening up all the colors. It was a tough shoot, but well worth the results.

We also went to a retro video game bar in Portland. There, we found the Sega Genesis version of TMNT: Hyperstone Heist. I haven’t played that game since I was in grade school and it was an incredible moment to share with Scott. The song “Video Games” evokes a simpler time with a tinge of melancholy. I think I’ll always pair this experience and that song together.

ELECTROWEEN is coming to an end. As I type that, my heart hurts. When Scott and I spoke about it earlier this year, it bothered me. I wasn’t upset with the decision, but ELECTROWEEN has become an integral part of who I am. However, it is important to move on and hone our passions. You cannot be married to every creative thing you do, and ELECTROWEEN has come to a fitting end. I think Scott and I will take everything we learned over the years and make something truly magical and different in 2020.

As for my mix, this year it was more personal. I skipped many of the video game pleasantries that have made up ELECTROWEEN’s previous iterations. I tried to throw in all styles of music we’ve used in the past 10 years and kept the overall mix more funky and positive. Halloween is for mischief after all!

In 2019 Loveless (my DJ persona) is locked away in a mental institution and the key is thrown away. This, of course, is the end of ELECTROWEEN and Loveless’ fate is uncertain, but you always gotta leave the end open for a sequel. Thank you to everyone who has listened to these mixes over the years. It has been a labor of love that I wouldn’t have traded for anything else. From now until the end of time the crisp Autumn air will always feel like ELECTROWEEN to me.

Thanks For Listening and Being A Part of ELECTROWEEN!

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the ELECTROWEEN 2019 mixes while testing out some of your best moves this Halloween season. Whether this is the first mix you’ve listened to of ours or your tenth, we want to thank you for being a part of our community and keeping the spirit of Halloween alive. ELECTROWEEN has been one of the most meaningful projects of our entire lives, and it will always be here, preserved in time. The mixes will continue to be available on GAIA BROS well into the future; feel free to dive back in any time.

The era of ELECTROWEEN officially ends here, and a new one begins. What is to come, no one can know for sure…

I’d like to close this significant chapter of our lives with a special quote:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman

Peace, Love, Unity and Respect — forever and always. <3

VII (Scott Werley) and Loveless (Matt Konop)